Knowing your accounting deadlines as a limited company

accounting deadlines

Knowing your accounting deadlines as a limited company

Starting your own business brings with it plenty of benefits: flexibility, freedom, and the opportunity to elevate your career. But it also comes with increased responsibility and can be accompanied by higher amounts of stress.

It’s not until you get started with a new business venture that you realise quite how much information there is to know, how much you need to remember, and all the deadlines you need to meet. And when it comes to your business accounts, missing important deadlines could leave you out of pocket.

It’s estimated that 65% of UK employees want to start their own business. So with this in mind, we’ve put together a quick overview of the key deadlines you need to remember during a business’s infancy.  

Before we begin, it’s worth mentioning that each tax year runs from the 6th April to the 5th April the following year.

Filing annual accounts with Companies House

For your first year of business, you must file your first statutory accounts no more than 21 months after the date you registered with Companies House, or your incorporation date. Each year thereafter, your annual accounts are due 9 months after your company’s financial year ends. 

These accounts should include:

  • A ‘balance sheet’ that outlines the value of everything the company owns, owes, and is owed.
  • A ‘profit and loss account’ outlining your sales, outgoings, and the profit or loss made over the year.
  • Any account notes.
  • A director’s report.
  • An auditor’s report (depending on the size of the business).

Pay Corporation Tax 

Corporation Tax is paid on any profits made through trade, investments, or selling assets. Payment is due 9 months and 1 day after your ‘accounting period’ ends – usually the same twelve months that are covered in your annual accounts.

Alternatively, this would be the time to tell HMRC that your company doesn’t owe any corporation tax. You register for corporation tax when starting a new business. And using your accounting records and company tax return, you can work out how much tax you owe based on the year’s profits. 

File a company tax return

Your company’s tax return is due 12 months after your ‘accounting period’ ends. That is, a year after the end of the financial year you’re reporting on.

Your tax returns must include any profit or loss for Corporation Tax – this is different from any profit or loss shown in annual accounts – as well as your Corporation Tax bill. With limited companies, it’s possible to file your accounts with Companies House at the same time as your tax return, saving you time and hassle.

VAT returns

You are required to submit your VAT return to HMRC and make any VAT payments 1 month and 7 days after the end of the quarter. 

VAT returns include:

  • Your total sales and purchases
  • The amount of VAT you owe
  • The amount of VAT you can reclaim
  • What your VAT refund from HMRC is

And there you have it. The key dates we think you need to know when starting out on your first solo business venture. It’s worth noting that these are the exact sort of business matters an accountant can manage on behalf of your business. So if this all goes straight over your head, there are people who can help you make sense of it.

Plenty more information can also be found here.

At Big Hand, we can take care of all your accountancy needs. Our expert team provides the insight and support necessary to ensure your business journey is smooth-sailing from the start. To find out more, get in touch on 0161 327 2911.

About the Author:

Since 2013, Sophie has been an integral part of the Big Hand team. As a social butterfly, Sophie is mostly responsible for introducing new clients to the company. If you’re an avid networking, you’re most likely to meet Sophie at local events. Alongside attracting new business, she also assists with account management, and she manages payroll on behalf of clients. For fun, Sophie loves to keep fit running or playing korfball with her team. She is also in the middle of learning a new language and so her most recent challenge is attempting to read Harry Potter in Dutch.